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Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 09-02-2020, 01:52 AM  
The Heart of the milkyway
Posted By hjw
Replies: 13
Views: 269
The Trifid nebula Is my favorite object in the sky!
Forum: Winners' Showcase 08-01-2020, 10:13 PM  
July, 2020 Runner-up: Days End
Posted By hjw
Replies: 109
Views: 727
Love it :)
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 08-01-2020, 06:21 PM  
Rho Ophiuchi cloud complex
Posted By hjw
Replies: 27
Views: 360
Looking towards the center of the Milky Way. The image was taken using a Skywatcher HEQ5 telescope mount. 60 images with 30sec exposure time were stacked.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 08-15-2018, 03:26 PM  
Poll: Expired Contest Poll VOTE NOW - Photo Contest #143 Poll (Vacation Atmosphere - July 2018)
Posted By hjw
Replies: 44
Views: 5,484
Number 11 does it for me. After a good hike, a nice place to relax!
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 07-15-2018, 10:08 PM  
Poll: Expired Contest Poll VOTE NOW - Photo Contest #142 Poll (Rivers and Fjords - June 2018)
Posted By hjw
Replies: 77
Views: 6,767
No 12 for me all the way. And certainly no disrespect for the other entries!
Forum: Winners' Showcase 07-08-2018, 04:14 PM  
June, 2018 Winner: Cola, India
Posted By hjw
Replies: 81
Views: 2,861
Can't pinpoint what it is, but I love it!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 06-28-2018, 06:52 PM  
Night M42 - The Great Orion Nebula
Posted By hjw
Replies: 8
Views: 1,068
Wow - I had forgotten about this post. Brings back memories :)
There is a astrophotography subforum here (Astrophotography - PentaxForums.com) with a small but enthusiastic community. You might want to have a look.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 06-15-2018, 04:14 PM  
Poll: Expired Contest Poll VOTE NOW - Photo Contest #141 Poll (People, Candid or Street Photography - May 2018)
Posted By hjw
Replies: 86
Views: 12,084
Did vote and number1 got my tick.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 06-08-2018, 03:20 PM  
My hero
Posted By hjw
Replies: 18
Views: 803
I would like to nominate this photo
Forum: Winners' Showcase 03-11-2016, 07:25 AM  
February, 2016 Winner: Pentax Table
Posted By hjw
Replies: 60
Views: 4,318
I momonaye this one -brings back memories from long time ago...
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 10-11-2015, 04:37 PM  
1200 century church i norhern light
Posted By hjw
Replies: 6
Views: 716
That is NICE!
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 09-03-2015, 03:31 PM  
eta Carina
Posted By hjw
Replies: 8
Views: 667
Eta Carina is a large nebula in the southern sky. The image was taken through a Skywatcher 80ED telescope (f/7.5) on a HEQ5 mount. Total exposure time (ISO1600) was about 1 hour.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 05-17-2015, 04:20 AM  
Poll: Expired Contest Poll VOTE NOW - Photo Contest #104 Poll (Fill the Frame - April 2015)
Posted By hjw
Replies: 94
Views: 12,594
#10 even if I'm the only one...
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-18-2015, 05:40 AM  
Night Comet Lovejoy 2014
Posted By hjw
Replies: 6
Views: 980
Hi Rob
Great start! You should really do some stacking. That will bring out a lot more of the nebula. And while you are at it (coming from down under), have a look at the south. Above the southern cross is the Carina nebula, which is bigger and brighter than Orion. It's a fantastic area of photography. Both pictures were taken with a K-30 and a 55-300 DAL lens.
Keep the good work up ;)!
By the way, there is a great freeware program called Stellarium (www.stellarium.org/) to find targets...
Forum: Post Your Photos! 11-30-2014, 06:05 AM  
Night M42 - The Great Orion Nebula
Posted By hjw
Replies: 8
Views: 1,068
I used 300mm. You have to use one of the extremes (either 55 or 300) to have the shots reproducible when you collect frames over several nights.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 11-30-2014, 12:31 AM  
Night M42 - The Great Orion Nebula
Posted By hjw
Replies: 8
Views: 1,068
This time of year is quite interesting for astro photography. There are some interesting objects in the sky and one of the most spectacular would be Messier 42, the Great Orion Nebula. Over the last few night I collected 20 minute worth of images (101 frames in total) and stacked them with DSS. The final image is a 100% crop of the orion nebula. All frames were taken with the help of O-GPS1 with exposure times ranging from 10 to 30 seconds.
Thanks for looking!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 11-02-2014, 03:27 PM  
Night Tarntula Nebula and the Large Magellanic Cloud
Posted By hjw
Replies: 10
Views: 1,000
You're welcome. Yellowstone should be a photographer's paradise - with or without stars :). By the way, you can also start with wide angle shots of the milky way. They tend to be easier than using a tele lens.
Good luck!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 10-31-2014, 10:53 PM  
Night Tarntula Nebula and the Large Magellanic Cloud
Posted By hjw
Replies: 10
Views: 1,000
Hi Dually,

These images ARE possible without a telescope. Something most people, including me until a few months ago, don't realise is that these Deep Sky Objects (DSOs) are quite big. Therefore you do not need much magnification. A popular scope for astrophotography has a focal length of 600mm and people will still use a "focal reducer" to make it faster. However, these objects are faint, which means you need very long exposure times. A site with dark skies (far outside of cities) helps too. Recently I have seen a amateur photo of a nebula, which had a 20 hour exposure time!

Here is my suggestion on how to start. Get yourself a sky plotting software. I use Stellarium (www.stellarium.org/) which is free and very good. Use it and find yourself a target. I had a look at your profile and saw that you are from the US. The Magellanic Cloud from the picture above is out of the question. Orion should be visible and the great Orion Nebula (M42) is one of the brightest (easiest) DSO around. Now get a sturdy tripod and a longish lens and focus on the central region of the sword (underneath the three stars of Orion's belt). It should be visible with the naked eye. Focusing is difficult. Best way is to use manual focus and live view. Infinite is NOT at the stop of the turn but about 1mm before that. Use the highest magnification in live view and get a bright star into focus. Be careful not to touch the focus ring again. Use a 2 second delay to allow the camera to stop shaking. Point at the target and start taking pictures. Capture images in RAW format because they contain the most information. There is some experimentation involved to get the exposure time and ISO setting right. If you have the GPS unit, 10 or 20 sec at ISO1600 should be fine for Orion, without GPS and at 300mm focul length you will find that 2-3sec is the maximum where stars are still roundish instead of little lines. Take lots of pictures without changing position or focal length. In the above picture I took 90 pictures over two nights to get there. For a start, 10-20 should be enough for M42.

Now comes the fun of post processing. Get the software Deep Sky Stacker (deepskystacker.free.fr/). Again this is freeware. DSS aligns the images and puts them on top of each other. It then allows you to play with curves to change saturation levels contrast and so forth. I usually use DSS to stack and Corel Photopaint to process. DSS requires a bit of playing to get used to the controls. Once you mastered Orion's nebula post it and give us a look :). Other objects in the northern sky would be a Andromeda galaxy (M31). Its about 6 times the size of the full moon but faint. 10 or 20 pictures would not be enough here. The Pleiades are a bright target and worth while. And finally the North America nebula, which apparently is huge!

There are also Astronomy forums around which can be quite helpful.

Good luck and dark skies!
HJ
Forum: Post Your Photos! 10-30-2014, 06:38 PM  
Night Tarntula Nebula and the Large Magellanic Cloud
Posted By hjw
Replies: 10
Views: 1,000
Hi Bossa,
polar alignment will be tricky, especially when you don't have a clear view to the pole. I have my mind set on the HEQ5 mount and I hope I can align it close enough to do star drift alignment. Then mark the spots where the legs are and be done until I have to move the scope. We will see... Christmas is coming!
Cheers
HJ
Forum: Post Your Photos! 10-30-2014, 03:43 PM  
Night Tarntula Nebula and the Large Magellanic Cloud
Posted By hjw
Replies: 10
Views: 1,000
Oops, now that you mentioned it, I used the O-GPS1 as well. And thanks for your comment - I am quite happy with the attempt.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 10-30-2014, 02:46 PM  
Night Tarntula Nebula and the Large Magellanic Cloud
Posted By hjw
Replies: 10
Views: 1,000
In one of my previous posts a forum user, Bossa, pointed out that a bright region in the Large Magellanic Cloud is actually the Tarantula Nebula. Having my curiosity triggered, I spend the last two nights collecting 90 frames with 10sec exposure each. ISO varied between 3200 and 12800. I also took 20 dark frames the various ISOs. The first picture is the full frame resampled to 50%, the second is the nebula at a 100% crop. All I need now is a telescope and a proper mount :rolleyes:.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 10-21-2014, 06:54 AM  
Night Curious Attempt at Astrophotograhy
Posted By hjw
Replies: 31
Views: 3,080
I will get Orion around December to February in a reasonable position and I am looking forward to the encounter! I am actually more interested in whether I will be able to capture the flame nebula.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 10-21-2014, 05:10 AM  
Night Curious Attempt at Astrophotograhy
Posted By hjw
Replies: 31
Views: 3,080
There you go... learnt something new :). The Tarantula nebula looks like a very interesting target. I am playing with the idea to get a lot more serious about this. There is a equitorial mount (Skywatcher HEQ5) on my list for Santa. I reckon the tarantula nebula would make a very nice target indeed. And I thought it was an over-exposed star :o.
Cheers
HJW
Forum: Post Your Photos! 10-21-2014, 01:09 AM  
Night Curious Attempt at Astrophotograhy
Posted By hjw
Replies: 31
Views: 3,080
I did some post processing, but I think I still have too much light pollution. To give you an idea about the process I attach some images along the way. All are resampled to 25%. The first image is a single 20sec exposure shot. The second is the result of the stacking. The last is then the final processed image. I am still playing with conditions to get the whole process optimised. We'll have another clear night today - so there is hope :).
Forum: Post Your Photos! 10-20-2014, 07:12 PM  
Night Curious Attempt at Astrophotograhy
Posted By hjw
Replies: 31
Views: 3,080
Yes, that's all the 30 images in one stack and I still didn't have as much light as I would have wished for. The lens was fully open - I think it's f/4.5 at 150mm.
Cheers
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